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Canada concludes virtual trade mission to Africa for women-owned and led businesses 

OTTAWA, Canada – As part of this effort, Mary Ng, minister of small business, export promotion and international trade wrapped up a successful virtual trade mission (VTM) to Botswana, Senegal, South Africa, and Côte d’Ivoire hosted by the Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada, with the support of the Canada Africa Chamber of Business.

The 4-day mission drew together 26 Canadian women entrepreneurs with African business leaders to explore new opportunities in the renewable energy, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors. This virtual trade mission is the first of its kind, providing Canadian women entrepreneurs from coast to coast with knowledge, networks, and training to access African markets.

“The government of Canada is committed to growing the economy, creating jobs and opportunities through international trade and export diversification. This includes strengthening Canada’s economic cooperation with the dynamic economies across Africa,” said Global Affairs Canada. “The minister showcased Canada as a trade and investment partner of choice for partners across dynamic African markets and emphasised her mandate commitment to strengthen Canada’s economic cooperation across the continent, including through continued support of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.”

This VTM builds on the momentum of minister Ng’s in-person trade mission to Africa in 2020 and last year’s Canada-Africa Clean Growth Symposium, which convened over 1,400 participants from 35 African countries to advance growth opportunities that fight climate change while creating jobs.

“During the VTM, minister Ng also spoke with Amadou Hott, Senegal’s minister of economy, planning and cooperation on strengthening bilateral relations,” adding. “The minister will continue to engage with her counterparts in the upcoming weeks,” said the government press release.

Minister Ng, said: “Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and South Africa are some of the most dynamic economies in the world. Canada has always been and will continue to be a steadfast partner in Africa’s economic development. Through promoting inclusive trade, we are collaborating with African nations to drive a strong, sustainable, and inclusive pandemic response and global economic recovery.”

Quick facts

  • In 2021, Canada announced its intention to develop a strategy for economic cooperation with Africa. This strategy will support the AfCFTA and help us build a new partnership with African countries based on trade and investment and mutual respect.
  • The Business Council of Canada estimate that export opportunities in Africa alone could reach USD 6.6 billion in 2030.
  • Canada has well-established trade relationships with Botswana, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire. In 2020, two-way merchandise trade reached a value of over $850 million.
  • As one of Africa’s largest and most diversified economies, South Africa is a prime destination for Canadian goods and services, with the value of two-way merchandise trade totalling $2.2 billion in 2020.


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